Burt Reynolds turned down a huge sum of money from Orion Pictures to return for this movie, to focus on shedding his "good ole boy" image, and becoming a serious actor. The film was subsequently re-cast and the title changed to "Speed Zone".
In 2009, MythBusters (2003) set out to prove the stunt where the Lamborghini skips across some water to escape the police. They proved that a stock Lamborghini could not do the stunt, and that the car in the movie must have been specially weighted and that it was possible that the water was very shallow, and the car may have actually landed on its wheels when skipping. In other words, "busted".
John Schnieder of The Dukes of Hazzard (1979) fame played an unknown character of the driver of the Lambourghini in the opening getaway scene. His role was credited as Donnato, however, he is not Donnato at all, the character heard on the phone in the police station. His character was never given a name, and due to sloppy research by the credit team, was mistakenly named Donnato in the credits.
In Los Angeles, California, Valentino (Brian George) used Lucille Ball's house as a navigational reference. He navigated with a map to the stars' houses. Lucille Ball died less than a week after the movie opened, on April 26, 1989.
Many cast members in this film appeared on SCTV (1976). John Candy and Eugene Levy pulled a lot of favors to get fellow cast members and friends to appear in this movie. Rick Moranis turned down the role of Whitman.
The black Ferrari Daytona Spyder used in this movie was one of the replica cars (based on a Corvette frame, engine, and transmission) that appeared in seasons one and two (and a single episode in season three) of Miami Vice (1984). The car was further modified for this movie (the Corvette door handles and rear quarter lights were moved, removed, et cetera) to help make it appear even more like an original Ferrari.
Even tho this movie is intentionally an unofficial The Cannonball Run (1980) sequel, it also pays tribute to Cannonball! (1976) by having the end of the race finish at the Santa Monica Pier. The Santa Monica Pier is where the race of Cannonball! (1976) began.
The movie poster and VHS cover showed a black Mistubishi. This car does not appear in the movie, but is the car that Jackie Chan's character drove in Cannonball Run II (1984). One rumor for this has been that Jackie Chan was possibly going to reprise his role and appear in this film, or it was a marketing scheme hoping to draw in audience members giving them a false hope that Jackie was going to be in the film.